Midpoint at Niner-Nacra Worlds
Published on November 18th, 2021
Mussanah, Oman (November 18, 2021) – It was day three at the 2021 Nacra 17, 49erFX, and 49er World Championships, with the 73 teams from 29 countries competing on Oman National Day, a celebration of the founding of modern Oman on the Sultan’s birthday. It was also the final day of qualifying for the men’s skiff while all three fleets now focus on the final races so as to advance to the medal race on November 21.
Men’s Skiff – 49er
At the front of the 49er fleet, Bart Labriex with Lars wan de Werken (NED) had a solid day of all top fives to move into the lead. They are chased by a pair of German boats. American’s Ian Barrows and Hans Henken managed to win the final two races of yellow fleet to move up the standings nicely.
As the only class with enough competitors to require a qualifying stage, tomorrow marks the beginning of gold fleet, where the top 25 teams will race off for the championship. Gold fleet racing is likely to make a big impact on the overall results due to the larger number of boats in the fleet, and the higher quality.
Women’s Skiff – 49erFX
Three different race 49erFX teams take wins on day three, but nobody can grab control of the regatta. Overall leaders Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen (NOR) expressed frustration at how they struggled to hold lanes during the races, despite sailing well enough to move into the lead.
“Every time we would tack into a lane we thought ‘this is the one’,” said Marie. “Only then we’d lose it due to an isolated shift or puff that wasn’t hitting anyone.”
“We won a race today,” commented Antonia Lewin-Lafrance (CAN), “but don’t ask about the rest of the day.” They scored a 12, 8 to finish out, maintaining a sixth overall after their third place finish at the 2021 European Championship.
“We had a hard time today, we practiced a lot in the light winds but not so much when the breeze is up and it showed today,” commented Elize de Ruyter, (NED) who three top ten’s and moved down to second overall.
If that is how the race winners are talking about the day, you can imagine how those at the back are feeling. It was the kind of racing where every position was hard fought, every position loss hard felt. Despite being the windiest day of the regatta so far, there was a swell and chop that added further complication.
At the half way point of the regatta, four teams are within four points at the top, and anyone in the top nine could realistically dream of winning.
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17
Gianluigi Ugolini and Maria Giubelei of Italy closed in on the Nacra 17 podium after the Italian team posted the best scores of the day, the young crew negotiating the first ocean swell of the regatta with great downwind technique. Results of 3,3,1 move them into fourth, just one point behind fellow Italians Vittorio Bissaro and Maelle Frascari.
Halfway through the regatta it remains tight at the top, and like in the FX Worlds fleet, just four points are separating the top four crews.
Moving into first place overall are the experienced German crew Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer. The Germans scored 2,5,2 which might have been cause for celebration, but Kohlhoff was still sore at losing places in the race where they finished fifth. “Mistake after mistake,” he said. “It was frustrating to lose out after we’d been in third place for a lot of the race.”
Along with many other of the more established teams, Kohlhoff and Stuhlemmer have barely stepped on to the Nacra 17 since foiling their way to a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Regatta back in early August. “One hour of sailing in Kiel and two days training here,” said Stuhlemmer.
The fleet seemed to invert on the first beats as the favored side flipped in the last third of the course, often leaving those on the right side hung out to dry. It was the runs, however, where the concentration of the more experienced teams paid dividends.
With ocean swell topped with small chop, the fleet decided to fly the weather hull and conservatively skim the leeward hull instead of laying flat and foiling high on all four appendages.
“You could foil for a short period but you’d end up crashing pretty hard,” said American crew Sara Stone. “With the leeward hull in, it was like a stabilizer and we could skim way more often that way.”
Nacra 17: https://nacra17.org/events/2021-world-championships/
Racing is planned for November 16-21. The 49er fleet will have three days of qualifying followed by two days of gold fleet and a medal race. The smaller 49erFX and Nacra 17 fleets will have five days of racing followed by a medal race.
Day Three Results – North America:
Men’s Skiff – 49er (36 teams; 9 races)
5. Ian Barrows/ Hans Henken (USA)
11. Andrew Mollerus/ Ian MacDiarmid (USA)
27. Ryan Wood/ Andrew Wood (CAN)
30. Ander Belausteguigoitia/ Danel Belausteguigoitia (MEX)
Women’s Skiff – 49erFX (22 teams; 9 races)
5. Stephanie Roble/ Maggie Shea (USA)
6. Georgia Lewin-Lafrance/ Antonia Lewin-Lafrance (CAN)
18. Lucy Wilmot/ Erika Reineke (USA)
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17 (15 teams; 9 races)
13. Ravi Parent/ Sara Stone (USA)
15. Carson Crain/ Caroline Atwood (USA)
The event will be live streamed on the final three days from 12pm-5pm local time (9am-2pm CET) each day.